PHT Morning Skate: Jiri Hudler scored an incredibly embarrassing own goal

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–Wild captain Mikko Koivu wrote an excellent piece about his journey to North America. When he came over from Finland, Koivu said he was expecting to play for the Wild right away, but because of the 2005 lockout, he was assigned to AHL Houston, which he wasn’t exactly thrilled about it at first. Over time, he got to appreciate what the minors had to offer. “I was scared about going to Houston, to be honest. I didn’t really think Texas was a hockey market. I had no idea what to expect. Looking back, the coaching staff there really shaped my career. Todd McLellan was in charge at the time. His influence on me, not only as a player, but also as a person, has been invaluable.” (The Players’ Tribune)

–The New England Patriots have been one of the elite teams in the NFL for the better part of two decades. On Sunday, they won their fifth championship in the Tom Brady/Bill Belichick era. Football and hockey may be two completely different sports, but writer Sean McIndoe believes there are lessons that NHL teams can pull from New England’s success. (The Hockey News)

–When you think of the Edmonton Oilers, the first thing that usually comes to mind is Connor McDavid. But as TSN’s Travis Yost points out, you should also associate them with the word “resilient” because of their ability to overcome deficits. Edmonton have a goal differential of +21 when they’re trailing in a game. That’s the best in the NHL. (TSN)

–The New York Islanders just keep on rolling under interim head coach Doug Weight. On Thursday, they took down the Philadelphia Flyers by a score of 3-1, and they closed the gap between themselves and a Wild Card spot to just two points. You can watch the highlights from last night’s game by clicking the video at the top of the page.

–Sportsnet’s Andrew Berkshire analyzed the play of every Canadian team’s first line. After his evaluation, he came to the conclusion that the trio of Connor McDavid, Patrick Maroon and Leon Draisaitl is the top one in the country. What makes them so good? Well for starters, McDavid, but it goes beyond that. Their shot quality is spot on, they always have the puck, they rarely turn it over and each member of the line is capable of scoring goals. (Sportsnet)

–On January 2, 1918, the Montreal Canadiens were supposed to take on the Montreal Wanderers at Westmount Arena. The game never ended up taking place because of a huge fire that occurred just a few hours before puck-drop. Both teams lost their uniforms and stick in the blaze. That fire quickly led to the demise of the Wanderers franchise. (Sports Illustrated).

–To say that things haven’t been going well for Dallas would be an understatement. Their coach, Lindy Ruff, is clearly on the hot seat, and that definitely didn’t change after Thursday’s loss to Ottawa. Not only did the Stars lose the game, but to make matters worse, Jiri Hudler scored an incredibly embarrassing goal into his own net. Yikes!

 

Video: Crosby to Dan Patrick – Subban fight ‘wasn’t as bad as it looked’

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Listerine, the 2017 Stanley Cup Final, and a growing rivalry. Sidney Crosby and P.K. Subban battled it out at the highest level not so long ago, but some of that action looked worse than it actually was.

At least, that’s the message Crosby sent on “The Dan Patrick Show,” as you can enjoy in the clip above.

As a bonus, Crosby also discussed his favorite Stanley Cup traditions – hey, there can be traditions when something happens three times – and how Mario Lemieux inspires some especially creative ideas:

Rebuild on hold? Red Wings reportedly eye Girardi, Hainsey, Daley

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For the first time in ages, the Detroit Red Wings missed the playoffs. To some, the sliver lining was that this might send a message to management to truly commit to a rebuild.

Perhaps GM Ken Holland & Co. aren’t quite ready for that.

Look, one or even a couple of potential free agent signings won’t disqualify the Red Wings from going younger. Still, the rumored defensemen they’re targeting aren’t exactly spring chickens.

Three names floating out there are Trevor Daley, Dan Girardi, and Ron Hainsey.

Daley was mentioned by The Athletic’s Craig Custance, MLive.com’s Ansar Khan, and the Detroit Free-Press’ Helene St. James. Khan and Custance both mention Hainsey and Girardi, too.

Even in one-case mentions, the “veteran” theme continues, with Brian Campbell‘s name coming up while forward Thomas Vanek seems like at least a remote possibility to return to Detroit.

Let’s look at the ages of the defensemen mentioned, noting that Daley is older than some might have expected.

Daley – 33
Girardi – 33
Hainsey – 36
Campbell – 38

In the case of Daley and Girardi, you could also argue that each blueliner also has a lot of “mileage” for their age. Girardi, in particular, plays the sort of grinding, shot-blocking style that might have accelerated his troubles with the Rangers.

As great as experience might be, even for a “final push,” this sends a troubling signal. In Mike Green (31), Jonathan Ericsson (33), and Niklas Kronwall (36), the Red Wings already have an aging group of defensemen. Kronwall and Ericsson are dealing with injuries that may hinder them for the remainder of their careers, too.

When you also note that Holland exposed 25-year-old goalie Petr Mrazek instead of 33-year-old Jimmy Howard, the picture isn’t especially pretty.

Maybe the Red Wings can have their cake (push for a playoff rebound) and eat it too (start to transition to youth), yet it’s not necessarily the aggressive move toward a rebuild that many likely hoped to see.

At least there’s time for Holland to prove these early worries wrong.

Note: In other Red Wings news, the team signed Ben Street to a one-year extension.

Blue Jackets sign Schroeder after trading for him

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Not long after acquiring him in a minor trade from the Minnesota Wild, the Columbus Blue Jackets signed Jordan Schroeder to a two-year contract.

The team confirms that it is a two-way deal for 2017-18 and then becomes one-way in 2018-19.

Schroeder is guaranteed $350K for the first year of that contract and then $650K in 2018-19, according to the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline.

The 22nd pick of the 2009 NHL Draft receives a fitting contract: he’s been a “tweener,” bouncing around the NHL and AHL. He hasn’t been able to make much of an impact, Schroeder at least provides some organizational depth.

That could come in handy, as Portzline indicates that Sam Gagner – not so surprisingly – is expected to garner a lot more attention this time around in free agency. Perhaps Schroeder could serve as insurance for Gagner?

NCAA star Spencer Foo chooses the Flames

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NCAA standout forward Spencer Foo decided to sign with the Calgary Flames, as The Sports Corporation and team confirmed. The signing might not be official until free agency kicks off on Saturday, July 1, but he apparently made his decision.

After managing 25 points in each of his first two seasons with Union College, Foo exploded in 2016-17, racking up 26 goals and 62 points. You can see some of his highlights in the video above.

He didn’t go drafted, so this could be a case of another scorer blossoming late.

Foo is an Edmonton native, so playing close to home in Calgary likely factored into his decision. He was connected to the Edmonton Oilers in earlier rumors while MLive.com’s Ansar Khan indicates that his final choice came down to the Flames or the Detroit Red Wings.

Calgary is already classifying him as a RW. Perhaps he’ll be that long-desired fit for Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan? There’s another positive aspect for the Flames, as this might help to soften the blow of giving up a bundle of assets in the Travis Hamonic deal.

The Sports Corporation tweeted out a photo of Foo, 23, in a Flames jersey: